Saturday, July 12, 2014

Hope Runs

Hope Runs by Claire Diaz-Ortiz and Samuel Ikua Gachagua is a book I finished reading this week.  The book is about two very different lives intersecting-one of a twenty something American woman, the other of a teenage Kenyan boy who lives at an orphanage.  Their lives intersect and are soon woven together in a story that changes both of their lives.  It is humbling to read the story of Sammy and it made me think about how being born in a certain place and time truly affects a person's life.  Chapters are written alternately by Claire and Sammy, and tell things from their perspective.  This is worth reading if you want a better understanding of the challenges orphans face.  It is an inspiring book because it shows how an individual can choose to make a difference in other people's lives.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Child of Mine

Child of Mine by David and Beverly Lewis is a novel I finished reading last week.  It is two stories-one of Kelly Maines, the other of Jack Livingston.  Kelly has been looking for her only  daughter, Emily, for eight years-she had been kidnapped as an infant.  Jack is raising his brother's daughter Natalie because his brother and his brother's wife died in an accident.  Soon Kelly and Jack's stories become intertwined.  This is a longer book (over 400 pages) that had plenty of twists in the plot that I did not expect.  It would be a good book for a book club to discuss.  It would also likely make a good movie. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

tie dye

Tie dyed shirts is a craft project I tried this week.  I haven't made anything tie dyed before, but I needed eight shirts for Camp Clair  (see posts here and here for more about that).  They didn't end up the way I expected, but I am happy with the results.  If you never have tie dyed shirts before, there are a few things that you may want to know.  One, if you are dyeing a bunch of shirts, buy more dye than you think you may need.  As soon as I began dyeing the shirts, I knew I was going to run out of dye.  So I made an extra trip to the store that was over thirty minutes away to get more.  Second, get the rubber bands really, really tight.  It seemed like the bands were tight.  Apparently not, as I don't have any white lines on the shirts.  It would have likely been better to use less dye, too.  Third, buy the dye kits from a craft store.  The ones I used were Tulip Tie-Dye supplies which are available at Joann's.  They were easy to use and came with decent instructions.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

zipper pouches

This week I have been doing a little bit of sewing besides the quilt I am working on.  I made this red, white, and blue zipper pouch.  It has a boxed bottom so it can stand up and hold something that is not really flat.  The bottom part did involve some trial and error, making it smaller than I originally planned on. 
This is the other zipper pouch.  It is flat, but still holds a variety of items.   It will be a gift for a little girl I know.  Zipper pouches go together rather quickly, I plan on making several more to add to my gift stash for my travels. 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Chateau of Secrets

Chateau of Secrets by Melanie Dobson is one of three novels I read this week, and it is the one I would recommend over the others.  It is two stories in one.  The first is of Gisele, a young women living in France during World War II.  The second is the story of Chloe, Gisele's granddaughter who lives in present day Virginia.  Reading this novel will make you think more about the difficulties and dilemmas that people living in Nazi occupied countries faced.  If you like history and stories of courage, look for this at your library or bookstore.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Foreign to Familiar

Foreign to Familiar by Sarah  A. Lanier is a book worth reading.  Lanier wrote the book for others going to live overseas, but would be helpful for those living and working in a community of diverse cultures.  This brief book (it is less than 150 pages) is written about hot and cold-climate cultures.  As a member of a cold-climate culture, it gave me food for thought on how to interact and better appreciate individuals who do not think or act like me because they were raised in another culture.  This book is not a manual for the easily identified parts of culture (music, food, clothing, language).  It does talk about the intangible parts of culture.  Some of the chapters include Relationship versus Task Orientation, Individualism versus Group Identity, Different Concepts of Hospitality, and Different Concepts of Time and Planning.  I knew about some of the things that she mentions, but Lanier has put it all together to help others be more sensitive to differences in communication because of culture.